Platform to share ideas
The highly regarded programme is presented by the Horizons Institute, based at the University of Leeds. It entails a series of in-person and online events over a six-month period and brings together early and mid-career academics from different disciplines.
It also creates a platform for academics to share their perspectives and expand their networks so that they can tackle most pressing global challenges. According to Horizons Institute the globe is faced with complex challenges and these can only be meaningfully mitigated through collaboration, bringing together diverse skills, ideas and perspectives. The programme also provides conducive environment for academics to enhance their inter-disciplinary research skills including applying for funding to further develop their ideas.
Dr Mushonga is attached to UP’s centre for the advancement of scholarship (CAS) and is currently leading the environmental humanities programme. She is passionate about environment and has joined the centre as post-doctoral fellow in 2019 after completing her PhD in sociology at the University of Cape Town. Her post-doctoral studies focused on environment, society and violent environmentalism. Not only has she spearheaded the centre’s environmental publics seminar series during her post-doctoral fellowship, but she has also been instrumental in building the centre’s programme.
Tackling complex challenges
“I am excited to be part of this year’s Horizons Crucible Programme. I think it is a great opportunity to collaboratively think with other researchers from across the world about how we can use our diverse knowledge, disciplines, and experiences to tackle the complex challenges of our time. The goals of the Horizons Crucible Programme align with our Environmental Humanities project at CAS,” said Dr Mushonga. She said, just like the HICP, CAS aims to take inter-disciplinarity and problem-solving beyond university faculties and disciplines to the broader environmental publics. She said she is looking forward to the experience and the new research networks that will be forged during the interaction with other researchers.
Learning to get better outcomes
Said Dr Nkukwana about taking part in the HICP: “I want my knowledge to have relevant application across different populations. This programme will provide such learning for me, and as a collective, I believe we will do great work. I am invigorated and very excited to be part of this programme. It is a great opportunity for me, and I plan to learn and engage with the team as much as possible towards better outcomes for all who will be involved.” Dr Nkukwana, is a senior lecturer in poultry science at UP’s department of animal sciences. She is an animal scientist and trained in commercial agriculture, which has been the major focus of her research and training of students. She is also a sub-editor of note and an editorial board member of high profile publications. She has edited several publications including the South African Journal of Animal Sciences, Welwitschia International Journal of Agricultural Sciences, and also reviewed numerous high-impact journals.
Developing innovation for sustainability
Dr Nkukwana has also worked in various private-sector and academic contexts where she noticed that agricultural interventions cannot be the same for commercial producers and smallholder farmers particularly in rural communities. Her current research focus is on leveraging innovation for sustainable livestock production at community level. She believes in sharing knowledge and applying practical, and locally available resources while also raising awareness on the land-water-energy link, animal welfare, and biosecurity controls.